Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gliding, Sliding and Crashing across Bellport Ice

Woohoo! Had my first icesurfing session since February 2007 this past weekend in Bellport, NY. On Saturday, Jan 31st, windsurfers rigged 3.7 sq. m sails and sped around on Freeskates, Icesurfers (aka the "Shopping Cart"), and various custom made boards. NW winds were gusty and well into the 20's. The next day saw warmer and lighter SW winds, which allowed for some freestyle and lessons for beginners.

Kevin O glides away back to front

I had the most fun trying out one of Jeff Schlecter's beautifully engineered custom boards, pictured above with Kevin. Leaning into high speed jibes, enjoying the zen moment when the sail goes light and quiet, and exiting backwinded still at high speed -- total rush! Unfortunately, on one speed run I got blindsided by a single-person iceboat! I was just cranking along in a gust when an explosion happened, just off the port bow. His front blade struck the front upwind blade of my board with such force that it bent the front half of the blade a good 45 degrees. The crash sent me head over heels onto the ice, but fortunately I walked away (actually ran away, chasing my helmet that had popped off and caught wind). Jeff was graciously understandable, and said it should be an easy repair. But I learned an important lesson: always look all the way around while on the ice, esp. upwind and behind you!

Before the cold killed the battery on Saturday, I grabbed a couple minutes of video made from boardcam, boomcam, and free hand shots:

Direct link to high-quality youtube

Photos from both days are posted in this Flickr photoset: Bellport Ice Sailing, which can also be viewed in full-screen via the slideshow link. Other photos include historic wooden iceboats and more custom iceboards.

Scott getting underway
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...